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Cramer: Salesforce may have called off talks with Twitter because of LinkedIn

The possible called off talks for Salesforce to acquire Twitter had nothing to do with Twitter itself, Jim Cramer said on Thursday. Instead, he said it related to LinkedIn.

"It had to do with LinkedIn, specifically the breakdown in LinkedIn's stock from $205 at the beginning of February down to $100 a week later, when it collapsed on really terrible guidance after an OK quarter," the "Mad Money" host said.

LinkedIn was one of the few remaining publicly traded companies in the cloud, social and mobile space. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff understood that a company like LinkedIn could have valuable data, and data is the new currency in the technology industry.





Twitter
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So, when LinkedIn's stock dropped, Benioff was interested in buying it. However, so was Microsoft, and Benioff wasn't willing to get into a bidding war once the price tag went to $26 billion, Cramer said. Benioff told Cramer on Wednesday that he would have loved to buy LinkedIn because of its great deferred revenue.

Benioff added that he had concerns with what Microsoft will do with LinkedIn's data, and took issue with some of Microsoft's management.

Flash forward to the potential for buying Twitter. The stock fell 20 percent on Thursday, to $19. That is far from its $74 price tag at the end of 2013. Potential suitors for Twitter were intrigued by the decline and future possibilities of data, Cramer said.

Cramer added that Twitter may have asked for a $29 per share price tag, which was steep, but Benioff considered it. But when shareholders began to rebel and hit Salesforce's stock, that could have cooled Benioff from pursuing the deal further.

"Paying north of what Microsoft paid for the far more profitable LinkedIn, the price he needed to commit to in order to get Twitter's board to sell, just killed the deal, especially because Salesforce execs were concerned that Twitter's site has become too darned mean," Cramer said.

When Wall Street learned that both Google and Salesforce appeared to have backed away from Twitter talks, the stock dropped 20 percent on Thursday.

"I still believe that if Benioff could find someone else to take a piece of the darned thing to lay off some of the risk, and the cost … it could come alive simply because the stock cratered," Cramer said.

The lower Twitter's stock goes, the more intrigued buyers will become. Verizon or AT&T could also be possible suitors, according to Cramer. Twitter's stock must fall hard and its board must cut the selling price. Otherwise, Cramer feared a deal won't get done.

In Cramer's perspective, that is not likely to happen until Twitter reports its next quarter on Oct. 27, which he bets will be hideous. Otherwise, someone would have bought it already.

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